Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Animals Are Awesome!

You know how when you're not feeling so hot, and your dog or cat that day seems to be paying more attention to you and somehow it seems to help you feel better?
I love that!
Tom and I have two adorable cats: Theo and Bella. They are so different personality wise, but they both love a good cuddle.
When I had kidney stones in November of last year, they were all over me... and they bring alot of love, laughter and joy into our house every day.
We are so lucky to have our two little fur babies; they're great practise for when we may or may not have real babies and we love them with all our hearts!

Monday, February 27, 2012

There's Always Time If You Make Time For.... Yoga

Tom has tried a ton of new things since we've been together - like getting out of the house more than three times a week!
He has had a pedicure, facial, adopted a cat, gone to Vegas, and bought a house - to name a few.
Today, he tried yet another new thing! We did some couples yoga poses when he got home from work; I've been doing a lot more yoga a meditation lately to help with the severe shoulder and back pain I've been experiencing. He was not up for it at first, so after much convincing, we tried some quick, painless and easy poses.
He is not flexible at all, so Warrior 1 pose was good to start to try and get him loosened up. We did a half moon pose and other bends and then ended with the tree pose.
You can honestly make it up as you go along, but remember to tailor it to your partner's needs - especially if you yourself practice almost every day. The main thing is to keep your own, and your partner's abs tight and keep sleek lines for your body during the poses. Breathing and balance is your first priority - make sure that your partner understands this.
It was a bonding experience for us for sure, and as I'm typing, he is doing "Downward Dog" on his own! Yay for yoga!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Today's the Day for ... Zen

Living Zen can be a big improvement; it can teach you to relish the finer things, stop looking over your shoulder, and be true -"er" to yourself! It has taught me all of these things, and to live in the present - try my best to cherish each moment as it comes to me. Send out your good vibes to the universe, and it will send back to you.
Take each moment as a lesson, whether it be a struggle or a triumph.
It is kind of like Tom and I's quest to find the best tasting French Onion Soup - we try new things to find out which suits us best and delight in the soups that we like. We cherish each of these moments because it brings us together, and we get to taste some pretty awesome food!!
My Zen proverb for today is:

"The infinite is the finite of every instant."
Meditate often and think peace always.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Daily Dose of... Buddha

The biggest challenge for me has been to not take things so personal and to stop worrying about my past and fretting for the future.
Learning to take things in stride is extremely difficult, it takes a lot of time to continue to tell yourself to not 'sweat the small stuff'.
There is a Zen proverb that basically tells you to feel a feeling (whether it be bad or good) in it's entirety - feel it until you can't feel it anymore and then simply... let it go. This has been an amazing mantra for me!
Learning not to take things personally is equally as hard, but it can be achieved if you want it for yourself.
During my struggles with health, I find that this quote has really resonated within me. Meditation is perfect for finding balance day to day.
So, our quote of the day is:

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor worry about the future or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly." - The Buddha

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Heart Belongs in London

I found some pictures of my trip to Europe the summer of 2010 - what a blast!
I would love to live there or go to school there, etc. but I've got roots now (not that I'm complaining)... I guess it just means I'll have to visit more often.
Tom and I want to honeymoon in Ireland, so maybe we'll go long enough that we can head to England and France... what beautiful, amazing places!
Sometimes I get nostalgic for Europe; my dream of living there quashed, but I am content with right where I am.
I can't wait to go back!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mysterious Ailment...

Some days I really can't catch a break - this morning (well, semi-afternoon) I woke up with a painful growth in my left eye. Went to the doctor- long story short, ouch, needles, and I'm stuck wearing a patch over my eye until at least Monday.... hurrah!!
I haven't had the best bout of health lately - I was just in the hospital for kidney stones and I just havent been feeling up to snuff.
I need to find some balance.
One of the Buddhist principles is: "A sound mind is a sound body, and a sound body is a sound mind"
This is loosely attributed to the Buddha, after his realization that ascetism was NOT proper.
Not that I'm like that; I could be healthier.
Anyways, our anniversary is coming up soon!
We're looking for restaurants to hit up (and of course, French Onion Soup will be a focal point for choosing the lucky restaurant) so, any suggestions from our non-existent followers?
If we try somewhere new, we will absolutely update our list!
Stay healthy, soup lovers!

Friday, February 17, 2012

My Daily Dose of... Buddha

Let's take some time today to reflect on our lives, drawing out the good memories and vowing to learn from the bad memories and mistakes we have made.
When we repress feelings or cover our eyes to these, we miss out on self-realizaton and Enlightenment.
"The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows." - The Buddha

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I LOVE this company!!

When I'm at home studying, I frequently burn a candle or two.
Since working at the spa, I found a brand that I think nobody else in Calgary carries: K Hall Designs; of whom I've become a HUGE fan!! The products are au naturelle and hand poured; the candles burn up to 70 hours and the smells are absolutely fabulous!
My favourite scent is the Sweet Orange & Cassia, but I'm also slightly smitten with the Washed Cotton:
Check out K Hall Designs!!

Tom & Star Wars: A Love Story

It never fails; whenever Thomas gets home from work (a miracle happened and school ended early for me today) and I'm here, he sits down and plays Star Wars on his computer (we're talking The Old Republic;; Knights of The Old Republic was SO last year....).

Personally, I love Star Wars, but when I'm at school or, you know, I come home and I smell from work, I'll either start homework or go and take a shower like a normal person. I'm not sitting on the couch with my computer deciding whether or not I'll be a Sith Warrior or a Jedi today.

I'm pretty sure we're gonna end up with a Star Wars cake at our wedding; either Han & Leia or just Vader's face.....


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Daily Dose Of... Buddha

Every day I take a moment to meditate, practise yoga, or just "zen out" - especially with my midterms coming up and so much change going on
Buddhism is my way of life - I am so happy I found it, as the teachings of the Buddha has changed my life for the better!
Today's quote is:
"What you think, you become." - Buddha

Happy Valentine's Day!

Crazy day today - got an awesome card from Thomas:
The front said: "Sweetheart, I'd like to give you a Big Hug for Valentine's Day!" and its got a bear
But, when you open it, it says: "... And if my hands should happen to slip down and squeeze your butt, think of it as a hug with an exclamation point. XOXO"
When I got home from work, Tom had made dinner and everything - it was awesome!! He's such a great guy... no French Onion Soup for dinner, but he made salmon, salad and rice. Then afterwards we had chocolate covered strawberries I had brought home from work... so perfect!
We had agreed not to do anything too "special" for Valentine's Day since our 2 year anniversary is coming up at the end of February, but it was nice to have a little something for today.
I'm so grateful for him; he's so absolutely amazing!
Last Valentine's Day, we geeked out at The Titanic Exhibit at the old Science Centre here in Calgary and then spent the rest of the day watching Star Wars - it was the best Valentine's Day I've ever had.

Kind of a cool thing for Valentine's Day - use Hershey's Kisses & Hugs to make dipping chocolate for your fruit! Remember that the Hugs & Kisses aren't usually used for this (aka they're not fondue chocolate) so it's best the put in some milk with it and only put it in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time.
Also, another tip - lots of times flower shops will give away bags of rose petals (or other petals) for free (or for a small profit)! If you're not too picky about the appearance of the petals - I mean, if you're scattering them on the bed or in the tub, they're not gonna be perfect anyways ;) - go into your favourite local shop and ask for a bag of their petal scraps or just petals. If they're not specially made, the flower shop may just give them to you!
Happy Love Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wanna Try Something New Today?

Hey all you Crusaders of Days out there!
As we fight the daily grind, here is something new that you may not have tried already:
Thai Iced Tea!

The tea itself is really up to you, but here is the recipe I tried today (I just made it for myself; you can tweak the recipe if you want to make it for more people):

- Steep 2 spoonfuls of Teaopia's "Market Spice" Black Tea in a large mug for 5 minutes
- Stir in 2 spoonfuls of granulated sugar
- Once sugar has dissolved, place in frig or freezer until liquid is cold (to your liking)
- Add as much milk as you like (I put in Vanilla Almond Milk)
- Do not stir (the idea is that the milk sits on top of the tea)
- Add ice cubes if you like
- Drink!

It is a weird concoction, but it is very, very good! It's a nice, easy drink to make for yourself.

French Onion Soup So Far

Tom and I have tried a ton of French Onion Soups at a ton of
great places (all in Alberta so far)!
We each differ on
whether or not we like it and have rated the French Onion Soup for each
restaurant (please remember this is a rating of the French Onion Soup at each
restaurant not a rating of the restaurant as a whole!). Our scale is out of ten-
ten being the best, one being... well, not so much.
Red Water Rustic Grille (Calgary - Stadium Location)
We love this restaurant; they currently do not have French Onion Soup on the menu, but we would love them to add it!
Stonehill Restaurant (Calgary - Harvest Hills Blvd)
Another restaurant we love!

Katherine: 8.0

Thomas: 8.5- 9.0

Rose and Crown (Banff)
Always a must when you're in Banff!

Katherine: 7.5
Its only because of my personal vendetta against puff pastry

Thomas: 8.0
The Blind Monk (Calgary- Royal Oak)
If you want to have a great time, the karoke here is awesome!

Katherine: 6.0
It was a good soup, could've used more bread and flavour

Thomas: 4.0
It just didn't compare

crazyweed kitchen (Canmore - Railway Avenue)
What an awesome place!

Katherine: 7.5

Thomas: 8.0

Boston Pizza (Calgary - Creekside, Memorial, 32nd Avenue)
BP is Tom and his friends' "go-to" place; they love it!

Katherine: 6.0
Flavour, flavour, flavour!

Thomas: 6.0

Riverbend Station (Calgary - off Glenmore)
Our friend knows about our FOS quest and suggested this place; we had a great time!

Katherine: 8.0
Not disappointing at all, but just not the absolute best I've had

Thomas: 9.0
It was awesome!

Brewster's (Calgary- Crowfoot)
A family favourite

Katherine: 8.5
In my top two, absolutely!!

Thomas: 8.5

The Bull and Finch (Calgary - Bridlewood)
Really cool place!

Katherine: 5.0
It could have to do with the fact I wasn't feeling well, but it felt like it lacked the brandy/ wine aspect of traditional FOS

Thomas: 7.0
Best French Onion Soup I've had that doesn't have a taste of alcohol in it

We wanna give a shout-out to M&M Meat Shops here:
Best ever French Onion Soup "out-of-the-box"!!!

Kath and Tom's French Onion Soup Journey

The Quest for the best- tasting French Onion Soup
My name is Katherine, and my boyfriend Tom and I have bonded over the fact that we seem to be part of a dying breed of French Onion Soup lovers, so we made a pact that whenever we go to a new restaurant and they have our beloved French Onion Soup on the menu, we HAVE to try it!! So, this blog is about my life with Tom, our struggles, triumphs, goals, and our never ending quest to find the best tasting French Onion Soup our limited budget will allow us to find!!
Enjoy and PLEASE comment or send me a message if you have had an amazing French Onion Soup in Calgary or Alberta or even Canada!
Stay strong soup lovers!